RELATIVE TO HOSPITALS
I. R. BUTTS, PRINTER, SCHOOL STREET.
BOSTON MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
Many persons are already aware, that for four years
past a hospital has been maintained in Canton, in China,
under the care of the Rev. Peter Parker, M. D. This
gentleman had been sent to China as a Christian mis-
sionary, by the American Board for Foreign Missions.
Before he engaged in this holy work, he qualified him-
self by a regular course of study to practice medicine
and surgery, and was graduated a Doctor of Medicine,
at Yale College. It seems to have occurred to him
that, if he was to propagate Christianity among the
heathen, it would be well to exhibit the excellence of
that holy religion in practice. Dr. Parker was support-
ed by those who sent him, and he sought no pecuniary
reward for his labors ; but he had nothing else to give.
The expenses of his hospital were defrayed by contri-
butions from British and American gentlemen, resident
in Canton. Strongly impressed by the benefit of his
labors, these gentlemen formed a society in Canton,
which they named the Medical Missionary Society, the
object of which was, to maintain hospitals in Canton,
and elsewhere in China. Under their auspices, besides
the hospital in Canton, one has been opened in Macao,
with every prospect of success. The late interruption
of the foreign trade in China, has deprived these hospi-
tals of the support which has heretofore been afforded
to them. The question arises whether aid cannot be
procured for them in this country and in Great Britain.
Medical men in this country have read from time to
time the reports of the benevolent labors, which have
now been referred to, with great interest. Dr. Parker's
success, in surgical practice especially, under circum-
stances far from being favorable, has led them to regard
him with great respect. Hence they were induced to
receive him, on his recent visit to this country, with
sincere cordiality, and to inquire if in any way they
could promote the benevolent objects to which he had
devoted himself. In this city a meeting of the Medical
Association was called, so that all medical men here
might have an opportunity of seeing him, during his
short visit, and that they might hear from him some ac-
count of his operations, and an explanation of his wishes.
At the conclusion of this meeting, the Association re-
solved to " invite the attention of men of property to
the medical establishments in China, and earnestly to
recommend that they should furnish such assistance as
shall give a permanent maintenance to these establish-
ments." The Association also appointed " a Committee
to consult with any persons, who may take an interest
in the subject of the medical establishments in China, and
to take such measures as may seem to them expedient
to obtain the aid required." This Committee consisted
of Drs. Jackson, Warren, Shattuck, Hooper, and Bow-
The Committee thus appointed, have believed that
they could not better perform the duty assigned them,
than by reprinting certain proceedings of the Medical
Missionary Society in China, and the Address which
accompanied the publication of the same in Canton.
These will be found in the following pages.
The Committee do not think that they can set forth
the advantages of the plan, which has been adopted by
this Society, in any better terms than those contained
in the Address. They will therefore only beg all those,
to whom this pamphlet is sent, to read the articles sub-
joined, and to give to them the attention they deserve.
It may be proper to add, that there is reason to hope
that aid will be derived from the commercial cities in
other parts of the Union for the benevolent object,
which has been mentioned ; and that Dr. Parker has
now gone to England, at the invitation of some of the
British merchants recently at Canton, and that aid for
the same object will probably be furnished by some of
the opulent citizens of that country.
By order of the Committee of the Boston Medical
James Jackson, Chairman.
Boston, April 23, 1841.
MEDICAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY
IN C HINA.
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
REGULATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS.
At a public meeting, called by T. R. Colledge, Esq., the Rev.
P. Parker, M. D., and the Rev. E. C. Bridgman (G. T. Lay,
Esq., attending on the part of Mr. Colledge), which was held
in the rooms of the General Chamber of Commerce, at Canton,
on the 21st of February, 1838, it was —
Proposed by the Rev. P. Parker, and seconded by R. Inglis,
Esq., " That Mr. Jardine take the Chair."
This being unanimously agreed to, the Chair was accordingly
taken by W. Jardine, Esq., who stated, that the object for which
the meeting had been called was, the organization of a Medical
Missionary Society, in conformity with a plan which had been for
some time in contemplation, and in reference to which certain sug-
gestions had been published, about eighteen months previously, by
the gentlemen by whom the meeting was called.
The following Resolutions, relating to the organization of the
contemplated Society, having been read consecutively, were then
severally discussed and adopted.
On the motion of G. Tradescant Lay, Esq., seconded by the
Rev. E. C. Bridgman,
I. " That, in order to give a wider extension, and a permanency,
to the efforts that have already been made to spread the benefits of
rational medicine and surgery among the Chinese, a Society be or-
ganized at Canton, under the name of the Medical Missionary So-
ciety in China : That the object of this Society be, to encourage
gentlemen of the medical profession to come and practice gratui-
tously among the Chinese, by affording the usual aid of hospitals,
medicine and attendants : But that the support and remuneration
of such medical gentlemen be not at present within its contem-
On the motion of R. Inglis, Esq., seconded by J. Archer, Esq.,
II. " That the officers of this Society consist of a President,
Vice-Presidents, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secre-
tary, a Treasurer, and an Auditor of Accounts, — to be elected
by ballot annually : That these officers collectively form a Com-
mittee of Management, for performing the business of the Society :
That, in the absence of the President, the duties of his office be
performed by the senior Vice-President, that is, by the Vice-Pres-
ident whose name shall stand first in order on the ballot list : That
any vacancy occurring between the annual meetings be filled up
by the committee : And that the Secretaries and Treasurer render
every year a Report of the operations of the Society."
On the motion of James Matheson, Esq., seconded by Captain
IIL " That persons subscribing fifteen dollars annually be con-
sidered members of the Society during the period of their subscrip-
tion : That donors to the amount of one hundred dollars at one
time be constituted members for life : And that donors of five hun-
dred dollars at a time be constituted directors for life."
On the motion of J. Robert Morrison, Esq., seconded by the
Rev. P. Parker,
IV. " That an annual meeting of the Society be held on the
last Thursday of September, in each year, for the election of offi-
cers and the transaction of general business : That the President
be empowered to call a special meeting of the Society, at the re-
quest of the committee of management, or on the application of
five members : And that the committee regulate the times of its
On the motion of T. H. Layton, Esq., seconded by G. Trades-
cant Lay, Esq.,
V. " That this association shall have a Library, to be called ' the
Library of the Medical Missionary Society in China,' and to be
under the control of the committee of management, by which do-
nations of books, &c, may be accepted."
On the motion of H. M. Clarke, Esq., seconded by R. Inglis,
VI. " That this Society form a museum of natural and morbid
anatomy, paintings of extraordinary diseases, he, to be called ' the
Anatomical Museum of the Medical Missionary Society in China,'
and to be under the control of the committee of management."
On the motion of J. Archer, Esq., seconded by G. T. Lay,
VII. " That all real estate or other property belonging to the
Society be held on behalf of the same by a Board of Trustees, to
consist of the President, the Treasurer, and the Auditor of Ac-
QUALIFICATIONS OF MEDICAL MEN EMPLOYED.
On the motion of the Rev. E. C. Bridgman, seconded by G. T.
VIII. " That candidates for the patronage of the society must
furnish satisfactory certificates of their medical education, approved
of by the society sending them out, — with testimonials from some
religious body as to their piety, prudence, and correct moral and
DUTIES OF SUCH MEDICAL MEN.
On the motion of Alexander Matheson, Esq., seconded by T.
H. Layton, Esq.,
IX. " That this society will not assume the right to control any
individual acting under its patronage, or to interfere with or modify
the instructions he may have received from the society sending him
out : That it will, however, expect a strict observance of any gen-
eral regulations for the management of its institutions, and a dili-
gent study of some one dialect of the Chinese tongue, on the part
of those who receive its patronage: And that it will reserve to
itself the right of withdrawing its patronage, at the discretion of the
committee of management, from any individual who may, from non-
compliance with its regulations, or from other causes, incur its dis-
On the motion of G. T. Lay, Esq., seconded by the Rev. P.
X. " That at each institution under the patronage of the society
a book shall be kept, in which shall be inserted, in a fair and legible
hand, an account of all important medical or surgical cases : And
that, in order that this may not interfere with the other important
duties of the physician or surgeon, any assistance necessary for
keeping such a register shall be defrayed by the society."
On the motion of E. Moller, Esq., seconded by G. T. Lay,
XI. "That the committee of management be empowered to ap-
point agents in Great Britain and America, to receive and transmit
to them any sums that may be paid on behalf of this society."
After these resolutions had been severally discussed and adopted,
it was moved by Rorert Inglis, Esq., seconded by A. C. Mac-
lean, Esq., and
" That the members of this society are deeply impressed with a
sense of the services which Mr. Colledge and Dr. Parker have
rendered to humanity, by the gratuitous medical aid they have af-
forded to the Chinese, which services have tended to originate this
society : And that the members trust to the philanthropy and zeal
of those gentlemen to carry the purposes of the society into effect,
and to enable it to perpetuate the benefits which have been already
It was then moved by James Matheson, Esq., seconded by R.
Turner, Esq., and
" That the thanks of this meeting be presented to T. R. Col-
ledge, Esq., for the responsibility and trouble taken by him in pur-
chasing and putting into repair a convenient and suitable building
for a medical institution at Macao : That the said building be ac-
cepted by this society, on the liberal terms of Mr. Colledge's offer :
And that the Trustees be authorized to take the necessary steps for
the transfer of the property."
" That the meeting now proceed to the election of officers."
The following officers were duly elected : President, T. R. Col-
ledge, Esq.; Vice-Presidents, Rev. Peter Parker, M. D., W.
Jardine, Esq., G. T. Lay, Esq., Rev. E. C. Bridgman ; Re-
cording Secretary, A. Anderson, Esq. ; Corresponding Secreta-
ry, C. W. King, Esq. ; Treasurer, Joseph Archer, Esq. ; Au-
ditor of Accounts, J. C. Green, Esq.*
The following officers form the Board of Trustees : Thomas
Richardson Colledge, Esq., Joseph Archer, Esq., John
Cleve Green, Esq.
Thanks having been voted to the Chair, the meeting was then
Minutes of a public meeting of the Medical Missionary Society in
China, held in the rooms of the General Chamber of Commerce,
on Tuesday, the 24th of April, 1838,—
The Rev. Peter Parker, M. D., Vice-President, in the chair.
The minutes of the general meeting held on the 21st of Febru-
* In a meeting of the Committee of Management, hold on the 23d of February.
some alterations were made in this list. R. Inglis and A. Anderson, Esqrs., wen
ary last having been read, it was, — in reference to certain changes
subsequently made by the committee of management in the list of
On the motion of Richard Turner, Esq., seconded by the Rev.
E. C. Bridgman,
" That the provisional changes made by the committee of man-
agement in the list of officers of the Society, be confirmed by this
The following resolution, passed by the committee of management
on the 23d of February last, was read, viz : " That Mr. Colledge,
Dr. Parker, and Mr. Bridgman, be requested to draw out a general
statement of the objects and prospects of the Society, its regula-
tions, and other particulars of its organization, for the purpose of
publication, the same to be submitted for approval to a general
meeting of the Society." The address that had been drawn up in
accordance with this resolution was also read. It was then,
On the motion of W. Jardine, Esq., seconded by J. C. Green,
" That the address that has just been read be accepted, and that,
agreeably to the resolution of the committee of management, it be
printed, accompanied by the list of regulations, and other particulars
of information regarding the state and prospects of the Society."
On the motion of R. Inglis, Esq., seconded by J. Archer, Esq.,
" That this meeting, having heard that an application is to be
made to the proprietor of the building now occupied as a hospital
in Canton to repair and enlarge it, is of opinion, that Dr. Parker
added to the number of the Vice-Presidents, and J. R. Morrison, Esq., was ap-
pointed Recording Secretary in the room of Mr. Anderson.
should, for the following reasons, be requested to avail himself of the
time required for such repairs and alterations, to proceed to Macao,
to open, and for three or four months to take charge of, the hospital
there. — These reasons are, that there are now many cases in Ma-
cao calling for early attention, whereas in Canton most of the cases
of old standing have been relieved, — and that a great advantage
will be experienced in the new institution being opened by a person
acquainted with the language and habits of the Chinese, rather than
by any one, a stranger to their language and habits, who may here-
On the motion of J. Archer, Esq., seconded by W. Bell, Esq.,
" That this Society views with pleasure the prospects of an early
increase in the number of its medical cooperators in this country ;
and that it trusts the hospitals, both in Canton and Macao, may en-
joy, ere long, all needed superintendence, in the presence of at least
two surgeons in each.
On the motion of W. Jardine, Esq., seconded by J. C. Green,
" That with a view of increasing the existing pecuniary means
of the Society, the Secretary be empowered to call a general meet-
ing, a few days subsequently to the publication of the pamphlet
now about to be printed."
The meeting then adjourned.
LIST OF OFFICERS AND MEMBERS.
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT.
President, — Thomas R. Colledge, Esq.
Rev. Peter Parker, M. D.
William Jardine, Esq.
Robert Inglis, Esq.
Alexander Anderson, Esq.
G. Tradescant Lay, Esq.
Rev. E. C. Bridgman.
Recording Secretary , — John Robert Morrison, Esq.
Corresponding Secretary, — Charles William King, Esq.
Treasurer, — Joseph Archer, Esq.
Auditor of Accounts, — John C. Green, Esq.
Thomas Richardson Colledge, Esq., Joseph Archer Esq.
John Cleve Green, Esq.
DIRECTORS FOR LIFE.
Lancelot Dent, Esq., I J. Matheson, Esq.
Robert Inglis, Esq. Framjee Pestonjee, Esq.
William Jardine, Esq. | J. C. Whiteman, Esq.
A. Anderson, Esq.
J. Archer, Esq.
J. H. Astell, Esq.
W. Bell, Esq.
W. Blenkin, Esq.
W. Carr, Esq. Calcutta.
T. R. Colledge, Esq.
J. Covert, Esq.
F. M. Davidson, Esq.
Wilkinson Dent, Esq.
R. Diggles, Esq. Batavia.
Captain C. Elliot, R. N.
T. Fox, Esq.
Hon. S. Garling. Malacca.
Thomas Gemmell, Esq.
O. H. Gordon, Esq.
J. C. Green, Esq.
J. Hamilton, Esq. (Deceased.)
A. Hay, Esq. Singapore.
Captain A Henderson.
Captain J. Hine. H. C. S.
A. R. Johnston, Esq.
Andrew Johnston, Esq.
A. S. Keating, Esq. (Deceased.)
J. Innes, Esq.
T. H. Layton, Esq.
H. H. Lindsay, Esq.
A. Matheson, Esq.
J. R. Morrison, Esq.
G. G. Nicol, Esq.
D. W. C. Olyphant, Esq.
W. R. Paterson, Esq. Glasgow.
A. Robertson, Esq.
Sir G. B. Robinson, Bart.
John Slade, Esq.
G. C. Schwabe, Esq.
J. P. Sturgis, Esq.
R. Turner, Esq.
WOO TUNYUEN (HoWQUA.)
W. S. Wetmore, Esq.
S. Wetmore, Jr. Esq.
Henry Wright, Esq.
C. Bovet, Esq.
Mrs. Bovet. (Deceased.)
Captain C. Elliot, R. N
Edmund Moller, Esq.
C. Fearon, Esq.
Captain T. Smith, h. c. s.
J. C. Ste-wart, Esq.
Messrs. Hankky & Co., London.
Messrs. Magniac, Smiths & Co., London.
J. Thomson, F.s^., Royal Bank, Edinburgh.
Messrs. James Ewing &, Co., Glasgow.
Henry Hill, Esq., Boston.
Messes. Talbot, Olyphant & Co., New York.
Kir hard Axsop, Esq., Philadelphia.
Messrs. W. Wilson &, Sons, Baltimore.
M. St. Clair Clarke, Esq. Washington.
In October, 1336, after mature deliberation, and en-
couraged by many whose views were in accordance
with our own, a few suggestions relative to the subject
of providing medical aid for the Chinese were drawn
up, and published. The hope then cherished has been
realized; the first public act — the organization of a
new institution — has been completed. And it is in
compliance with a resolution of the committee of man-
agement of this institution, that we have now once
more the pleasure of explaining our object, and of in-
viting the cooperation of all those who wish to mitigate
the sufferings of their fellow-men.
The object of this Society is, as stated in the reso-
lutions passed at its formation, to encourage the prac-
tice of Medicine among the Chinese, to extend to them
some of those benefits, which science, patient investiga-
tion, and the ever- kindling light of discovery, have con-
ferred upon ourselves.
In the midst of many improvements, and surrounded
by numerous social advantages, the Chinese are never-
theless deficient in medicine and surgery, and acknowl-
edge this deficiency by their conduct, whenever they
can avail themselves of the well-directed skill and the
superior adroitness of foreigners. The love of ease
and the hopes of health lead mankind to accept assist-
ance, wherever they can find it, to forego their preju-
dices, and sometimes to make large sacrifices, even up-
on a very slender prospect of recovery. The Chinese,
though exclusive in all their policy, form no exception
to this rule, for they have come in crowds to the opthal-
mic institutions, submitting to operations and medical
treatment with unbounded confidence, and obtaining
health and restoration, through the means of the physi-
cian, with every mark of the most unfeigned respect
Our course, then, is clear, a road to usefulness is thus
open before us, a great people stand in need of our as-
sistance in this way, and are withal very glad to receive
it. To restore health, to ease pain, or in any way to
diminish the sum of human misery, forms an object
worthy of the philanthropist. But in the prosecution
of our views we look forward to far higher results than
the mere relief of human Buffering. We hope that our
endeavors will tend to break down the walls of preju-
dice and long cherished nationality of feeling, and to
teach the Chinese, that those whom they affect to de-
spise are both able and willing to become their bene-
factors. They shut the door against the teachers of
the Gospel ; they find our books often written in idioms
which they cannot readily understand ; and they have
laid such restrictions upon commerce that it does not
awaken amongst them that love of science, that spirit
of invention, and that freedom of thought, which it uni-
formly excites and fosters, whenever it is allowed to take
its own course without limit or interference. In the
way of doing them good, our opportunities are few, but
among these, that of practising medicine and surgery
stands preeminent. Favorable results have hitherto fol-
lowed it, and will still continue to do so. It is a depart-
ment of benevolence peculiarly adapted to China. Or-
dinary modes of conveying information fail to attract
the regard of the Chinese. Hence their groundless
fears and suspicions of us continue unchanged. If a
ray of light flash unexpectedly upon them, they view it,
not as a pure beam from an uncorrupted source, but as
an ignis fatuus calculated only to mislead. Could we
dispel these fears, and make known to them the true
character and desires of the civilized western nations,
many are sanguine that a more friendly policy would be
adopted towards us. And in the department of benev-
olence to which our attention is now turned, purity and
disinterestedness of motive are more clearly evinced
than in any other. They appear unmasked ; they at-
tract the gaze, and excite the admiration and gratitude,
" Heal the sick " is our motto, — ■ constituting alike
the injunction under which we act, and the object at
which we aim, and which, with the blessing of God,
we hope to accomplish, by means of scientific practice,
in the exercise of an unbought and untiring kindness.
We have called ours a Missionary Society, because we
trust it will advance the cause of missions, and be-
cause we want men to fill our institutions, who to requi-
site skill and experience add the self-denial and the high
moral qualities which are usually looked for in a mis-
For the Agents by whom we are to carry our object
into execution, we must look to the Missionary Boards
and Committees in Great Britain and the United States.
They have it in their power to help us. and are best
qualified to select men that arc fitted to execute our
designs. We do not engage to support such individ-
uals, and therefore shall leave them free to cherish all
the better feelings of an honorable independence. We
offer them hospitals, with every other necessary and
suitable accommodation, and means of effecting <iood.
In these hospitals we require for the patients the same
uniform and well-considered attention, which are en-
joyed in institutions of a similar kind at home. Men
of eminent qualifications and tried character arc indis-
pensable for the successful prosecution of the work.
For after the Society has done all it can do, by way of
preparation, its direct influence on the Chinese is to
be exerted through the agents it employs : on them,
therefore, the destinies of the Society are suspended.
If they fail, it fails. Their success, is its success. They
are to give effect to the wishes of the Society and its
friends. Too much care cannot be bestowed on their
selection. Both in character and in practice they should
be every way good men. The constitution of the So-
ciety has been framed so as to guard — as far as it is in
its power to guard — this point.
By the employment of such an agency the way will
be paved to a higher place in the confidence and es-
teem of the Chinese, which will tend to put our com-
merce and all our intercourse with this nation upon a
more desirable footing, and to open avenues for the in-
troduction of those sciences and that religion, to which
we owe our greatness, by which we are enabled to act
a useful part in this life, and which fit us for the enjoy-
ment of a better life hereafter. And it will not be de-
nied, that these form desiderata of no ordinary interest
There are other advantages, which, though they be
of a subordinate kind, are not without their value.
Among the first we would refer to the benefits, which
are likely to result to medical science by cultivating it
in China. Countries are not less characterized by the
form and nature of the soil and its productions, than
they are by the prevalence of certain maladies and a
partial or complete exemption from others. The con-
templation of disease as influenced by the position and
height of a country, its inland or maritime location, and
the general habits of the people, conducts the student
to a most engaging range of medical philosophy, while
it discloses many important lessons to assist him in the
way of benefiting his fellow-creatures. The advan-
tages derivable from such a contemplation have been
acknowledged at all periods, and in all quarters. To
secure these advantages, it is required, that a book
should be kept in all the institutions connected with this
Society, into which an entry will be made of all impor-
tant cases, with a notice, not only of the disease and the
treatment pursued, but also of the province, habits, and
other circumstances bearing upon the history, of each
individual. Such books will in time be curious and in-
structive documents, and such as will enable us to glance
at the penetralia of domestic and social life in China,
which we now can only read of, or view at a distance,
from the very outskirts of the country.
It will not require much illustration to show, in the
second place, that information will be obtained in this
way of the highest value to the missionary and the man
of commercial enterprise. The general state of feeling
in this vast and thickly populated country, the partiali-
ties and prejudices of the people, can only be seen by
us through a very questionable and imperfect medium.
The wants and resources of a territory so diversified
and extensive are only known to us by reports, which
are not always consistent with each other. But by such
an intercourse with the people, as these institutions will
afford, the truth will be learned in some measure, and
answers to many questions, which we are now interested
to ask, will be obtained ; for a sick man will often deal
frankly with his physician, however he may be disposed
to conceal facts, or garble his statements with any other
Another advantage will be the education of young
Chinese in those branches of science that belong to
medicine. Facts show that Chinese parents are not
altogether blind to the desirableness of placing their
sons in our hospitals, as three are already under tuition
in the institution at Canton. Young men thus instruct-
ed will gradually be dispersed over the empire, travel-
ling for pleasure, honor, or reward, and will dispense
the benefits of a systematic acquaintance with the sub-
ject wherever they go. The success of their measures
will render them respectable, and of course will redound
to the credit of those also from whom they have learned
the art. Their patients will not only hear, but feel that
the people from the West are good men. The effect of
such influences will be silent, but powerful, for there is
something irresistibly impressive in a benevolent action,
especially when it appears to be exempt from the impu-
tation of interested motives.
The Society recommends the study of the Chinese
language, because to question a patient through an in-
terpreter is a circuitous and often a very doubtful pro-
cess. A knowledge of the language will open another
door of inquiry, namely, in relation to the substances
used in Chinese Pharmacy, and to their peculiar modes
of preparation. As the reciprocations of health and
sickness are various in different countries, so Providence
has displayed a corresponding variety in the distribution
of remedies. This correspondence between the pre-
vailing disorders of any country and the remedies which
the hand of nature has provided, is often very striking,
and will become more so as the subject is investigated.
We may therefore look for a great many valuable addi-
tions to our dispensatories, while an extended acquaint-
ance with disease under new modifications will help to
enlarge and complete our system of nosology. With
a small stock of Chinese phrases, great immediate good
may be effected, but to accomplish extensive and per-
manent good, an acquaintance with their language, and
with their treatises on the theory and practice of medi-
cine, as prevailing in the country, is indispensable.
This is requisite, also, to enable one to write works by
which their erroneous .systems nvay be revolutionized.
A man's usefulness will be in proportion, ceteris pari-
bus, to his knowledge of the language. If knowledge
be indeed power, then is that of the language of China
on the part of those who would benefit the Chinese em-
We have alluded to the revolutionizing of the erro-
neous systems of the Chinese. But little argument is
needed to prove the urgent importance of effecting
such a revolution. A few facts will suffice to show it.
Authors of medical treatises, enjoying a high reputa-
tion and imperial patronage, are found to extol the
efficacy of many secret remedies and vaunted specifics.
And all, or almost all, adopt the common vagaries
concerning the pulse — their infallible key to every
ailment, and concerning the influence of the elements in
causing and affecting disease. Persons in the highest
ranks of society believe in astrology, and consult the
almanac in order to select an auspicious day for apply-
ing to a physician, though that day may not come till
their disease has advanced beyond the control of human
skill. The Chinese admit their ignorance of medical
science, especially of surgery and anatomy. An amus-
ing and ridiculous compound of astrological dogmas
and dissertations on the influence of the elements, like
the " Ethers and Elements " of Heraclitus, takes the
place of the well-established principles of physiology
and chemistry now received in the West. As yet we
are not aware that any correct knowledge regarding
the circulation of the blood obtains in China. Obser-
vation, however, has taught them, that the frequency
and force of the pulse are not the same in sickness and
in health. Deducing from this circumstance unfounded
notions on the subject of pulsation, a Chinese practition-
er, on observing the character of the pulse in the last
stages of disease, will hazard a prognosis of the number
of hours the patient may have to live. In the indefinite
use of the word gg by the Chinese, and of 9^<4 by
Pythagoras, we observe a remarkable coincidence. By
both the same term is often employed to designate veins,
arteries, nerves, and tendons.
It has been sometimes objected, that to attend to the
diseases of men is not the proper business of a mission-
ary. This objection may be shortly answered by a
reference to the conduct of the Savior and his apostles,
who, while they taught mankind things that concerned
their eternal interests, were not indifferent to their bodily
sufferings. What He was pleased to do by his Divine
power, and what they did by miraculous endowments,
no one can in these days pretend to effect. But we are
commanded and encouraged to imitate them, by the
use of such means as knowledge and the exercise of a
genuine charity will furnish. The importance of edu-
cation has long been admitted, and none regard its
requisite expense as a perversion of sacred funds, — not
that education can make the pagan a Christian, but be-
cause it is one of the best auxiliaries. Neither has it
been considered a misapplication of money, or of the
missionary's talent, to employ science as an instrument
wherewith to sweep away the foundations of idolatrous
systems, — not that science can convert a heathen, but
that, by demonstrating to him the falsity of his religion,
it may prepare the way for him to seek the truth. A
similar rank and equal consideration are what we ask for
the healing science and practice.
A peculiarity of the Medical Missionary Society in
China is, that it addresses itself to the consideration of
all. The man of science and the philanthropist, who
look especially to immediate benefits, are here interest-
ed. And to the sympathies of those who, while they
equally appreciate the desirableness of contributing in
every feasible manner to the welfare of their species for
time, contemplate with unspeakably more solicitude
those interests which are eternal, it presents an irresist-
ible — an overwhelming — claim. When we reflect
upon the present state of surgery and medicine in China,
the suffering that is experienced, the lives annually and
needlessly lost, and advert to the time when similar ig-
norance was the misfortune of the nations of Europe ;
and when we consider the rational basis upon which
science is now established, and our facilities for impart-
ing it to others ; the obligation upon enlightened na-
tions becomes imperative, to improve the opportunity
afforded, of imparting to others the incalculable benefits
received from the application of chemistry and natural
and inductive philosophy to the subject of health, in the
investigation of the causes and phenomena of disease
and the means of controlling it.
The world is a whole : and as the human race ap-
proximates to the perfection which it is destined to
reach, the principle of union and fellow-feeling will be-
come more and more influential. A Bacon, a Newton,
or a Franklin, is not to be monopolized. Such men
belong not merely to the nation that gave them birth,
but to the whole world. They were doubtless designed
by Providence, to be blessings not merely to a single
age or country, but to all successive ages, and to every
land. Upon those who first enjoyed the boon, rests the
obligation to extend universally their principles, which
have revolutionized the philosophy and science of
Europe, and which, whenever permitted free ingress,
will produce similar results in China. Surely no accu-
mulation of arguments is required to prove a case so
clear. If the principle is admitted that our race is one,
then the remoteness of the empire for which we plead
cannot neutralize the obligation.
To facilitate cooperation in the observance of this
obligation, agents are appointed in the principal cities
of England and America. About $9,000 have been
contributed in China and its vicinity within the last two
years to this cause, but whilst friends here encourage
the expectation of a continuance of their aid, the Society
must look to the affluent of happier lands for its principal
When we survey the vastness of the field, the good
to be effected, and when, reflecting upon the immense
resources of the western hemisphere, we compare these
with the small portion of wealth required to secure the
desired object, we are confident that benevolence —
disinterested like its author, and as expansive as the woes
of man are extensive, will not withhold the means. A
rare opportunity is here afforded to the philanthropist of
doing good — of enjoying the felicity of imparting to
others, without diminution to himself, some of his rich-
est blessings. He is invited to unite in accomplishing a
great, immediate, and positive good, — is encouraged
by the hope of immediate success, to aid in uniting to
the great family of nations this long severed and seclu-
ded branch, and in introducing among this people not
only the healing art, but in its train the sciences, and all
the blessings of Christianity. To the various missionary
Boards whose cooperation is sought, we would respect-
fully say, imitate Him whose gospel you desire to pub-
lish to every land. Like Him, regard not as beneath
your notice the opening the eyes of the blind and the
ears of the deaf, and the healing all manner of diseases.
Until permitted to publish openly and without restraint
the truths of the gospel, neglect not the opportunity
afforded of freely practising its spirit. Scatter to the
utmost its fruits, until welcomed to plant the tree that
produces them — the " tree of life."
(Signed) T. R. Colledge.
E. C. Bridgman.
China, April 14, 1838.